illustration of developing human baby at 20 weeks

20 weeks pregnant

For more information about week 20 in a twin or multiple pregnancy, tap here.

With your due date just twenty weeks away, congratulations, you’re halfway there! 

How’s Baby?

Baby is now about 10 inches tall (25.5 cm), the size of an endive, and weighs about 10½-12 ounces!

Inside your uterus, your baby’s skin is still in the process of being covered in a creamy white substance called vernix caseosa that will cover and protect their skin straight through until birth. Scientists speculate that this coating might play a part in helping Baby adjust to living ‘on land’ instead of just the watery environment inside your uterus. Speaking of, your little one now regularly gulps down multiple ounces of amniotic fluid each day and is starting to produce meconium, the sticky black substance that will make up their first poop after being born. 

Your healthcare provider may be able to see the presence of male genitals at your second trimester ultrasound (though some babies may wriggle or position themselves in a way that can make it hard for the ultrasound technician to be sure) and, if you wish, can tell you Baby’s biological sex. If your growing baby is female, they now have seven million primitive eggs in their ovaries, and if they’re male, their testicles are descending from their abdomen into their scrotum.

Baby is also sprouting teeth buds underneath their gums, as well as lips, eyelashes, and eyebrows. The face you’re going to know and love is on its way! Just about 20 more weeks until you get to see that lovely little face in person.

What’s new with you?

As Baby keeps growing bigger, your body will continue to need more iron to support your increased blood flow during pregnancy, so you should be compensating. Red meat, chicken, soybeans and tofu, most beans, lentils, chickpeas and some dried fruits like apricots and mango are great sources of iron. Fortified grains, dark chocolate and cooked leafy greens also pack a punch! Sardines and oysters contain a high amount of iron per serving, just make sure you’re cooking any oysters thoroughly. 

You may notice a hardening of your nails and a thickening of your hair at this time. Some of that hair might even start growing out of places that are new for you, like your chin if you haven’t had hair there prior to pregnancy. These sorts of changes are very common. Many folks find that their hair situation will go back to normal in the 2-3 months after giving birth, although some folks do report permanent changes in hair texture after pregnancy.

As Baby continues to grow, you might also start to have more trouble sleeping or finding a comfortable position to sleep in. At this point in the pregnancy, lying on your left or right side helps promote healthy circulation to your placenta and baby. If you wake up on your back, don’t panic! Just switch turn to your side. Your body is working extremely hard growing Baby’s little body — and carrying it around with you every day — which makes getting quality rest so important. So don’t be afraid to fidget or toss and turn until you find a sleep position that’s comfortable for you. Using extra pillows may help.

Your uterus is expanding to keep up with your growing baby, which may press against your lungs, causing shortness of breath. Please note that while some shortness of breath is normal — and you may want to work through this discomfort and remain active — any acute shortness of breath should be evaluated by a healthcare provider right away. 

One more thing — feeling in need of some support? You may want to consider hiring a doula, a support person who can help you through pregnancy, labor, and the first few weeks of your baby’s life. A good doula can answer questions you have about labor and birth, help prepare your family for a wonderful birth experience, and provide you with a great deal of emotional support and education throughout this journey. 

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
Read more

Related Topics

Get the Ovia Pregnancy app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store